Kurt's Historic Sites

Andrew Adams

Andrew Adams

Interment Location Visited Sequence in Graves I Have Visited
Litchfield, CT May 10, 2023 24th Articles Signer visited

Photographed May 10, 2023.

Not every U.S. Founding Father and Continental Congressman is well-remembered — not even every one with the “Adams” surname. “Andrew Adams rubbed elbows with the big boys,” Kenneth Buckbee, past president of the Governor Oliver Wolcott Senior branch of the Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, said ahead of a graveside ceremony for Adams in 2008. “He was not outspoken like they were. History does not remember him because he got lost in the shuffle.” This overlooked member of the founding generation is buried parallel to Whites Wood Road in Litchfield’s West Cemetery.

Adams is overshadowed by other revolutionaries from Litchfield, like Declaration of Independence signer Oliver Wolcott and spy Benjamin Tallmadge. You would not know it from the encomium carved into his grave. “Having filled many distinguished offices with great ability and dignity,” the barely-legible epitaph reads, “he was promoted to the highest judicial office in the State, which he held for several years, in which his eminent talents shone with uncommon lustre, and were exerted to the great advantage of the public and the Honour of the High Court in which he presided. He made an early profession of religion, and zealously sought to protect its true Interests. He lived a Life and died the Death of a Christian. His filial Piety and paternal tenderness are held in sweet Remembrance.”

Photographed May 10, 2023.
Photographed May 10, 2023.

Adams’s marble tabletop tombstone is recorded as being in a state of deterioration as early as 1909. Over a century later, in 2019, Peter Stothart of the Wolcott chapter of the S.A.R. conveyed the grave’s deplorable status to the organization Litchfield Patriots. The group used its own money and funds provided by the Seherr-Thoss Foundation of Litchfield to finance a new monument to add to Adams’s burial plot. Ciesco Memorials in Torrington created the cuboid stone, which was dedicated in late June 2020. Its top includes an engraving of what appears to be an early incarnation or variant of the Great Seal of the United States. Its northern face notes Adams’s status as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress, signer of the Articles of Confederation, colonel in the Connecticut Militia, chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court, member of St. Paul’s Masonic Lodge No. 11, and deacon of the Litchfield Congregational Church.

It took me two attempts to visit Adams’s burial site. I initially tried to stop at West Cemetery on St. Patrick’s Day 2023, but there was too much snow at the cemetery’s entrances for my car to handle, and not enough of a shoulder along the road to park on. I had no problems accessing Adams’s grave two months later in warmer weather.

Photographed May 10, 2023.

Fast Facts

Born: January 7, 1736 in Stratford, Connecticut

Spouse: Eunice Booth Adams (m. 1761-1797)

Died: November 26, 1797 in Litchfield, Connecticut

Age: 61

Interment: West Cemetery, Litchfield, Connecticut

"The finances of the States are at present the principal subject of the deliberations of Congress. Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday of every week are set apart for this purpose; but little progress is yet made. A plan of organizing a Board of Treasury is laid before Congress, and is to be taken into consideration this day. It is long and complex-time will not allow us to attempt giving you an abstract of it."
- Andrew Adams and Titus Hosmer
August 29, 1778, reporting from the Second Continental Congress to Connecticut governor Jonathan Trumbull


Sources Consulted and Further Reading

Grey House Publishing. “Sample: Encyclopedia of the Continental Congress.” Accessed July 27, 2023. https://www.greyhouse.com/Media/GreyHousePublishing/samples/continental_smppgs[1].pdf.

Hutter, David. “Litchfield group to honor early American with graveside ceremony.” [Torrington] Register Citizen. September 6, 2008. https://www.registercitizen.com/news/article/Litchfield-group-to-honor-early-American-with-12149399.php.

The Ledger. “Andrew Adams.” From the Litchfield Historical Society. Accessed July 27, 2023. https://ledger.litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org/ledger/students/13.

trizzo. “Gravestone sheds light on forgotten historic figure.” [Waterbury] Republican American Archives. June 25, 2020. https://archives.rep-am.com/2020/06/25/gravestone-sheds-light-on-forgotten-historic-figure/.

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